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tv   American Morning  CNN  March 18, 2011 6:00am-9:00am EDT

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and we are following breaking news this morning on two fronts. first, the latest developments in libya. also breaking news on the
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deteriorating situation in japan. so welcome, once again, to "american morning." it's been a week now since all of this happened. the tsunami, the earthquake, the number of dead in japan continuing to rise as hopes fade of finding any more survivors amid the rubble. in the meantime, the radiation concerns are spreading, as well. crews are now desperately trying to cool down fuel at one nuclear reactor. the number of dead has climbed to 6,500 people. and the search grows more frantic with 10,000 people still missing. turning to fast-moving developments in libya, stopping gadhafi. britain, france, and the u.s. are scrambling to enforce a no-fly zone over libya now that the u.n. security council has authorized all necessary measures. cnn international correspondent nic robertson is live in tripoli. good morning, nic. >> reporter: good morning, christine. well, we've already heard from the deputy foreign minister here
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who says he doesn't expect immediate air strikes here, but wouldn't say what preparations the army or anyone else in the country may be taking to defend the country with this new u.n. resolution. when he was asked about the cease-fire that the resolution calls for, he seemed to indicate that the government here was going to take some time to do that. they didn't have anyone to negotiate with that they would put it in place. but this was something that was going to take time. seemed to hint that the army here may plan to continue with some of its offensive. that offensive was going on in the east, and we have no updated information from that front line this morning, christine. >> does this u.n. resolution paint -- does it paint them into a corner, gadhafi and his allies? what does it do? what does it force him to do if anything? >> it forces him to stop. it forces him to stop his military offensive because it calls for the protection of civilians and the army that he
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has placed there, gadhafi has placed in the eastern country at the moment. an army with tank -- with rockets. in some towns have been seen to fire into the cities killing and wounding civilians. but if that equipment is used, then he has been put on notice that the united nations signatures to that resolution can use military force to stop those attacks on civilians. this isn't just about a no-fly zone. but it means his army can be attacked, as well. now late last night just as the u.n. was voting, we heard from one of the sons of moammar gadhafi. that his father said the military would change its tactics. and this came just before the resolution saying the army would no longer attack, it would help the civilians. the country would even invite in humanitarian organizations like the united nations. this was a massive change of track by the government.
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we haven't seen any of that being put into effect as yet, christine. >> all right. nic robertson, thank you, nic. we'll continue to watch all those developments. we'll talk to the director of the middle east center of economics. he believes we're in the middle of a long, drawn out conflict with gadhafi. well, u.s. planes flying high over japan's overheated nuclear plant trying to find the situation has improved. however, they're noting it's improved very little. the u.s. is collecting data now on the fukushima nuclear plant on its own. this happening as crews are desperately continuing their struggle to try to cool down the overheated reactors. right now the focus remains on reactor number three where water in the spent fuel pool is believed to be dangerously low. officials say efforts to douse the overheating fuel with water have only been somewhat effective. and still the fears of a nuclear
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meltdown spreading and the fears of radiation are also mounting. senior international correspondent stan grant is live in tokyo. it doesn't sound very promising in terms of the helicopter drops of water there. they were questioning how successful and how accurate those drops have been able to be. and now they're trying to also tackle that from the ground. what is the update this morning, stan? >> reporter: yeah, they have been continuing in that water trying to cool down these reactors and, of course, stop the flow of radiation into the air. particularly the radiation levels. and that's been raised by the nuclear safety agency here. they're now calling this a level five nuclear event. now, there are seven different levels, chernobyl, of course, is level seven. but what they're saying by calling it a level five, now saying it's equivalent to three mile island in 1979. it had previously been rated as a level four, which would be an event of local consequences. by raising it a level, they are
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saying now it's an event of wider consequences. also, indicating some structural damage to the core of the reactor. and that is absolutely key here. because that's where the more nasty radioactive elements live. now, remember in recent days, we've had these fires and explosions, where quite often the levels are raised because of an incident like that. they first rated it level four about three or four days ago. they've just lifted that now as a result of these fires indicating more structural damage and potentially higher radiation. kiran? >> what is the -- i guess the real world consequence or action plan of raising the radiation level to a five? >> reporter: yeah, that's a good question. because it does mean greater consequences, it does mean you have to take greater action. we've been seeing that action in recent days trying to isolate the problem, get more water into the reactors, cool them down so you can get in there and see what the real problem is. i think the real headline is we now are officially rating this
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the same as three mile island in 1979. and if you look at that, the good news, if you can take good news, is three mile island was contained. the radioactive material kept within the structure of the building, no deaths related directly to it. and even people within a ten-mile radius of that were found to only have suffered low levels, very low levels of radiation. so that's the direct comparison now to three mile island. they'll be hoping for a similar outcome if, in fact, this situation does worsen. kiran? >> stan grant for us this morning in tokyo. we'll check in with you throughout the morning. thanks so much. we told you earlier this week the nikkei had the worst two-day drop since 1987, but the nikkei closed up this morning spiking 244 points on the news that the g-7 countries, the group of rich countries in the world agreed to intervene in the currency market essentially supporting japan at this hour. the announcement came last night that they would work with japan to stabilize the value of the yen. we told you the yen had been
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spiking to record strength against the dollar earlier this week, and that threatens demand for japanese exports and could hurt its recovery. g-7, finance ministers, governments stepping in to support japan at this hour. >> promising news. obviously they need the help. also later, coming up at 7:15 eastern, christine and i speaking with daniel ponoman. what the u.s. is doing to avoid a similar nuclear crisis. also, how would those plants be put into action? and are we getting the full story from what's going on in japan, as well? and we're going to be speaking with him about all of that. emergency crews called to a d.c. elementary school this week after five students took cocaine. they were all between 8 and 9 years old. the school says one student brought the cocaine to school and shared it with classmates. they were all okay after being checked out by medical staff. officials aren't sure how much of the drug these 8 and 9-year-old children took. the child who brought the cocaine is facing criminal
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charges. >> it's a terrifying thing. the report saying some of them did snort it, some of them put it in their mouth. and they all had to go to the hospital -- >> 8 and 9 years old. >> that's one thing you don't think you have to worry about when you're taking your kids to elementary school. well, the new york bus driver involved in a deadly weekend crash is being accused of lying to get his driver's license. officials say williams used several false names and also had a license suspended under one of them. you may remember 15 people were killed in this crash. happened on saturday in the bronx. williams claims he lost control of the bus because he was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer. that account is being disputed. some passengers are saying he fell asleep at the wheel and at times he was driving erratically. after laying off 168 police officers, the city of camden, new jersey, is hiring 50 of them back. crimes spiked about 20% after those layoffs. the city government truck a $2.5
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million deal with new jersey governor chris christie to pay for those additional officers. sign of the times changing, delta airlines is connecting with passengers in a new way. starting today you can check in to your flight through facebook. delta's created a ticket counter app. customers can also see flight status updates and gate numbers. the app is also available on iphone, android, and blackberry. what's the difference rather than going on the delta site and doing an online check-in? >> there's no reason for me to be waiting for a plane anymore, and i still wait for planes. let's get a quick check of this morning's headlines. >> before you know it, you'll be able to do weather on facebook. facebook's taking over everything, doesn't it seem like it? let's start off in the northeast. dealing with rain outside. only talking about 1/4 inch of precipitation. notice the temperatures above freezing. again, rain out there. a little bit of freezing rain.
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but again, that'll be changing over. but again, that's going to be moving out of here. as i show you over towards the pacific northwest, really talking about this. this is going to be a problem spot for the next couple of days. serious systems coming through and potentially very heavy rainfall, even 1/2 foot of snow working into parts -- as i said, this is going to be a rainy friday and a rainy weekend ahead for the northeast. it's not all bad news out there. let's talk about some of the high temperatures today. look at the numbers out there. if you see the orange, that means good news for you. temperatures actually some of the warmest we've seen, record highs for today. we're expecting the numbers to climb to the lower 80s, and that includes the southeast as well as parts of the northeast, as well. and that means everybody's going to be enjoying this, especially say from washington, d.c. to new york as well as all the way down to parts of texas. here's a wider view. you see where the rain is. we're going to talk about some potential rain delays for today. if you're going to be flying out. plus, i'll tell you what areas could be under the gun for some
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bad flooding this spring. >> and such bad flooding in the winter. this has been a tough year. >> snow melt. >> thanks, jennifer. the united states preparing to back britain and france to enforce a no-fly zone over libya. our next guest says it won't be quick, it won't be easy, and it may not work. if you think the economy feels worse than it did two months ago, you're not alone. certain things you need every day are going up and it's not just gas. 12 minutes past the hour. wrench? wrench. basic. preferred. at meineke i have options on oil changes. and now i get free roadside assistance with preferred or supreme. my money. my choice. my meineke. water, we take our showers with it. we make our coffee with it. but we rarely tap its true potential and just let it be itself. flowing freely into clean lakes, clear streams and along more fresh water coast line than any other state in the country.
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as the united states, great britain, and france prepare to enforce a no-fly zone over libya, forces loyal to moammar gadhafi are advancing on benghazi in an attempt to crush a rebel uprising. air strikes from the west could begin at any time. and our next guest believes once they start, it may be some time before they stop. the director of the middle east center at the london school of economics joins us live from paris this morning. thank you for joining us. how does the west proceed under this u.n. resolution? and what pressure does it put on gadhafi and his sons?
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>> well, i think one point must be made very clear, the resolution is designed to prevent the defeat of the last stronghold of the opposition that is benghazi. the resolution is not designed -- i feel that gadhafi is deeply entrenched in libya, he controls most of the territories of libya, controls almost 80%, his forces are dispersed in urban areas even in the west, even if the united states decides to carry out multiple bombings, his forces are already in control of the major cities. the reality is, what the west is trying to do, what the united states is trying to do is prevent the collapse, the fall of the rebels and the opposition. this is the reality, gadhafi is there to stay, unfortunately, in libya. >> what do you think about -- nic robertson made the point that the language coming from the regime has completely changed. we're going to crush benghazi
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two days ago, now it's we're sending in humanitarian aid. we want to help everyone in the entire country. do you believe this change of tactic? and is this a response to the u.n.? >> reporter: you know, christine, we know that gadhafi is a -- is a thug and a nasty man, violent man. i don't think he was prepared to move on against benghazi. benghazi is a very difficult city to take. he has already positioned himself in most of the urban cities outside benghazi. the reality is, the rebels now control only the major city that's benghazi. what he's trying to do is to basically try to absorb the shock of the u.n. security council resolution. but the big point is the resolution does is internationalizes the internal struggle of libya. this is an effect of civil war. this is a very prolonged struggle. in the short-term and the medium
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term, i think gadhafi is in a strong position. in the long-term, his position is very fragile. because remember, the noose is tightening around his neck. the west and the international community is now all over libya. they might be taking military actions. they have frozen his financial assets, he cannot bring mercenaries into libya. while he can survive in the short-term and medium-term, in the long-term, his position is untenable. but the reality is, he's trying to position himself in order to survive. and whether the new storm that has been unleashed by the international community and the united nations. >> when do we see concrete actions from the west? whose move is it? is it his move to provoke them? or is it their move to strike? >> well, remember now, gadhafi is going to be very careful. in the next 48 hours and few days. he realizes that the
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international community means business. but i am also impressed by how wise president obama has been. in order to resist the temptation of using massive force. remember, christine, force has unforeseen consequences and also predictable consequences. how many civilian casualties are we willing to take in libya? because most of his forces are dispersed in urban areas. also, the military moves by the west provides also a public relation coupe for gadhafi. in his speech yesterday, he already says this is part of american and western conspiracy to control libya. he's positioning the libyans and arab people to say, look, this is part of western and american imperialism against libya. he has mastered the art of contradictions. first he says it's al qaeda, now he's saying the americans and the west in the same camp. but he doesn't care. this particular man is willing
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to bring the temple on his head and everyone else in libya. and finally, finally, the reason why the united states and the west should be careful about using massive force is because also there are some contradictions in western policies. here we take actions against libya, against the gadhafi regime. what do we do with bahrain? how do we deal with the allies? and that's why, i think -- >> great points. >> -- the position of the obama administration is very sensitive. >> thank you very much for joining us from paris. kiran, fascinating, these develops juments beginning righ now. how google is trying to help people search for loved ones missing in japan. also, traces of radiation detected on flights from japan to the u.s. what caused it. and why it may just be a false alarm. 21 minutes past the hour.
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23 minutes past the hour right now.
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you'll soon, unfortunately, be paying more for things you need every day, like your coffee fix, maxwell house coffee up 50% since last may. they announced the fourth price hike in the last year. ground coffee is now 70 cents more expensive per pound. you've had your pricey coffee, then you've got to change your baby, that will cost you more, as well. raising prices on diapers and toilet paper. so it's still going to cost you more. both companies are upping prices to keep pace with the rising cost of raw materials. and we're going to have to break it to our 3-year-olds, christine, it's time to go on the pot. >> and kids will have to drink less coffee. more people think the economy's in rough shape. more think it's in rough shape than did so at the beginning of the year, which sort of surprises me because stocks have been up. >> it's all about our checking account first. you know, so back in january,
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cnn research opinion poll, 24% of americans thought the economic conditions in this country were good. now, that was january, and it was the highest number since 2008. well, now that number has dropped to 16%. two big reasons. it's all about the job market and gas prices. the new poll results show unemployment is top of our worry list. 38% of americans say that it's the most important economic issue. 28% say it's the federal deficit, 19% gas prices followed by tax mortgages and the stock market down with that 1%. now asked if the increase in gas prices has caused you hardship, 17% of americans say it's caused a severe economic hardship. and 45% -- these are high numbers -- say it's moderate hardship, 35%, no hardship. tight budgets means more hardship. three quarters of those with less than $50,000 say this is tremendous hardship. it forces your wallet to just
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get around all these prices. >> also the reality check that we say every single day, the dow's up, the dow's down. but for the large majority of people, that's not the indicator -- >> for most families, this is about your checking account. can i get the income in there to pay the bills? and how can i pay the bills if everything's going up from cough e f fee, diapers to gas. >> those stretch commuters get hammered by the high gas prices. >> and it's very important to try to figure out creative ways. car pooling, other things. it's -- >> absolutely. >> thanks, carmen. >> thank you. well, we've seen the damage and destruction after japan's earthquake and tsunami. a new crisis, though, is developing right now. dr. sanjay gupta is here to explain the difficult situation for medical rescue teams in japan. and the google tool that's bringing some peace to those desperately searching survivors in japan. how it works, how it's helping reunite people in japan. it's 26 minutes past the hour.
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we're crossing the half hour. following two stories, the developing situation in libya and the situation in japan. now, it is not clear if and when air strikes against the gadhafi regime will happen. yesterday, the u.n. security council voted 10-0 to authorize "all necessary measures" short of occupation to stop the slaughter of the libyan civil n civilia civilians. the level of radiation at japan's fukushima nuclear plant now raised to a five. officials say that means a situation that could have "wider consequences." the same level as the three mile island nuclear power plant event in 1979. it has now been confirmed that more than 6,500 people have died in japan's earthquake and tsunami that followed. more than 10,000 are still missing. >> as stan grant told us, when
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they talk about what level it is, seven being the highest. >> the chernobyl event was a seven. well, the crisis in japan has taken a toll on the nikkei, but japanese markets are rebounding this morning after the u.s., canada, and the european central bank have intervened to help weaken the yen. the dow bounced back too posting a 163-point gain after two days of steep losses. >> yesterday, shelters packed with hundreds of thousands of people, the ever present danger of radiation poisoning, the situation so terribly grim for those in japan and the medical crews running just to save these lives. chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta live in tokyo this morning to talk about the challenges that medical teams are coming up against. sanjay? >> reporter: you know, i think they're starting to get a better sense of the manpower issues. that was a real issue for some time, some of these hard-hit areas not having enough doctors,
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enough nurses. so that's starting to get better. but, you know, it's remarkable still, some of the most basic supplies not making it to these areas. when i say basic, i'm talking about food, water, blankets, but also the medications. daily medications so many of these people were on. as we talked about before, the -- a lot of the people who were most affected by this were elderly. a lot of the communities up and down the coast were sort of retirement communities. so they need these medications. you have the situation now, which is just unbelievable where people survived at great risk to themselves. they survived the tsunami, the earthquake, have the anxieties about the radiation. but now they need to get medical care. and the supplies are in certain parts of the country, hard-hit areas over there. the dots need to be connected. and hopefully that'll take place over the next few days. >> the other challenge, sanjay, is medical personnel. are they able to operate a freely -- meaning, do they have what they need? are they able to take care of people?
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>> reporter: well, you know, a large part of that is, you know, simply getting those supplies for sure. i mean, i think that the -- for a few days -- and the stories were heartbreaking, kiran. you have one doctor, a couple of nurses trying to take care of patients and unbelievable situations where, for example, elderly were being transported from the area around the nuclear plants, taken to the school or, you know, they were in hospitals, nursing homes, being taken to a school. and these elderly people, some of them actually dying in the bus on the way there. it was freezing cold. they got to the gymnasium of the school and it was still cold. they didn't have their medications and more people dying. it's just a situation where i s it's -- thing after thing. they survive all the tragedies that have happened over the last week, but then they simply cannot get the supplies they need. the doctors, it's heartbreaking for them because they cannot take care of these patients the best way they want to.
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>> that is heartbreaking, you're right. is it simply logistics? the it's not just -- just trying to get that medication to them because of all of the infrastructure problems? >> reporter: yeah, i mean, you know, look. to be fair, this is a country just devastated by an earthquake and a tsunami. the roadways are very hard to pass in certain places. so getting from point "a" to point "b" is more challenging than it sounds. but people are starting to do that. and i've been getting e-mails and tweets saying there's so many tons of supplies in port cities, but not getting to the places that need it as of yet. and i can't emphasize how cold it is. it's so cold outside and these people -- many of them don't have a structure. they're not living anywhere that actually is protecting them. i mean even to get blankets, something to protect them from the elements is so important. >> sanjay, it's -- thanks for that report. and one of the things that just
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breaks my heart about this too is still survival mode after a whole week, sanjay. and a high percentage of elderly people in this country. and it's the story hasn't ended. it's not ending, and the whole road is going to be difficult from here. and we're in the search and recovery mode just trying to stabilize the situation for people. >> 10,000 people still missing. >> reporter: that's right. well, we all just saw how social media helped fuel the revolution in egypt and in other countries, as well. i mean, iran, just last year. well, now google is trying to help people search for missing loved ones in japan. jason carroll with that part of the story. we talk about this whole issue of people missing, still trying to connect with loved ones and holding out hope. >> you heard sanjay talk about all the challenges people were facing. this is really a way to help people get in touch with each other. it's called person finder. basically google's version of an
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online message board. anyone can post questions asking for information about a missing person in japan and that person can try and answer back. we're going to show you how it works. go to google's main page, then you click on resources related to the crisis in japan, you scroll to the person finder box and either click on "i am looking for someone" or "i have information about someone." >> at any point, if i hear about somebody, i can add that information to the data base and then hours later or weeks later, someone who happens to be searching for that can find that information. >> well, the idea for google's person finding came about after another major disaster, the 2010 haiti earthquake. google wanted to help people reach out to each other and their engineers came up with the idea for the people searching website. tech observers say haiti taught google the importance of getting their site up quickly. >> after they developed the person finder for the haiti earthquake, it took 72 hours to get that live.
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but with this japan person finder, it took just one hour to get that done. so it really shows how they've been able to develop the process and really tweak it so that they can get this done very, very fast. >> well, person finder has gotten some powerful results. so far google is tracking more than 318,000 records, such as this one about samantha harrison. this one basically says sam called from afv at 6:45 a.m. and she is okay. the kids are okay. there's another one from mark smith saying, mark, i saw you're okay. this is great news, hang in there, we're all sending our best wishes to you. trying to call, et cetera. let us know if you need anything. now, there is one potential drawback to this site. google does not verify who is posting the information. and when i checked online, there were some complaints about people posting inaccurate updates. if you do receive information about a loved one on person
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finder, you should try to follow up, obviously, and get official word from a government source. you know, they also use this during the earthquake in new zealand. so this is a source that they're going to be using probably the next time we see a crisis. and they're going to probably try to make it better each time. >> they've been asking people in the shelters to take pictures of those listed in the shelters. >> this is a way to get the information sitting in this one remote place and get it out to the world. >> obviously, yeah. you've got those shelters, people sign up, get their names on there. through person finder, you can see perhaps if the person's loved one showed up on the website. two men who survived an atomic bombing more than six decades ago are now reliving a nuclear nightmare in japan. and this video probably brought tears to your eyes. the tsunami victims, the four-legged ones. one refusing to leave, putting
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least two plan. officials say they're checking all incoming flights from japan for radiation. passenger that we spoke to said they didn't mind the delays. >> every bag you checked is being screened for radiation. so it's taking a long time. >> it's slowed us up, other than that, no. and i'm not really concerned about japan. i'd go back, i'm going back in two weeks. >> homeland security agents say there have been no positive tests for radiation on any incoming planes caused by the nuclear crisis in japan. when america bombed hiroshima more than six decades ago, japan became the home of the birth of the atomic age. for some, the ongoing crisis in fukushima is bringing back haunting memories. here's kyung lau. >> reporter: japan races to control the emergency.
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nervous residents flee from the growing crisis. for the elderly, running from a disaster, this is their second nuclear crisis of their lifetimes. it's so scary says the 75-year-old evacuee. for this generation, this all echoes of 66 years ago when these men were children. they survived japan's first nuclear crisis when the u.s. dropped atomic bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki ending world war ii. it felt like being hit by a baseball bat in the head and that was only the beginning says mikiso iwasa, he was just 16 years old then living less than a mile from the epicenter. among the estimated 140,000 killed, his mother, his sister, every single one of his relatives except for one aunt. >> are you a living example of the price of nuclear technology?
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>> i am, he says. we are the firgs victist victim nuclear era as he watches the impact on their generation now hit by nuclear emergencies. he says, i strongly question whether nuclear energy is helpi helping peace and life. they believe nuclear energy should not exist especially in earthquake and tsunami-prone japan. >> do you believe the benefit outweighs the cost? >> for me, no, says tanaka only 13 years old when the bomb fell on nagasaki. he was less than 2 miles from the epicenter, spared from the burns, but sees the long-term health impact of radiation. nuclear power unless made 100% security should never be allowed in any form near mankind, they say. japan's past and presence proves it. >> reporter: japan has seen darker days, rose from the ashes to become this, a world class country and economic superpower. the world war ii survivors
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believe that japan will emerge from this nuclear crisis. they just wonder if it will be with new lessons learned. at age 81, iwasa still suffers from radiation-related health problems, but they're nothing, he says, compared to the constant nightmares of his dying mother that haunt him. it's our hope to have us as the final victims, he says. i hope it won't ever happen to your generation. kyung lau, cnn, tokyo. >> and that history of japan, one reason it chose not to be a nuclear weapons power. it never had ambitions for its own defense. >> right. and then just to see what's playing out now -- and seeing the way that the elderly are being affected as we've talked about is heart breaking. >> it is. when we come back, we'll lighten things up a bit. looking at the forecast for the weekend.
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shot of columbus circle in the background of central park. and it is going to be packed today. this is what happens the first nice day. it's going to be 70, by the way for a high in new york. new yorkers all go out there in their bathing suits. they don't care what it says on the calendar. they want a little bit of sun and warm weather after a long, tough winter. >> it's about 12 minutes to the top of the hour. let's get a quick check of the weather. i keep saying it. the weather's morning headlines. >> that's right. i had trouble with your name earlier this week. we all have our bad days, don't we? let's start talking about the travel delays out there. if you're going to be flying out of the airports, about a 30 to 60-minute delay. we're going to be dealing with
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strong winds throughout parts of the northeast. and really a nice day in new york. but right now, dealing with rain moving through parts of the northeast. you can see through new england, coming down pretty heavy through parts of maine and out towards the plains. we're dealing with just some light rain and a little bit of freezing rain and snow. you can see through parts of denver. but we're really watching the plains right now for the potential for some flooding problems, especially as we go farther into the next several weeks ahead. and you can see some of the warnings and watches in place right now. even some in the midwest. and speaking of the midwest, let's go to some recent flooding video along the ohio river. this coming out of indiana. and you can see, yeah, bad times there. they're dealing with some river flooding there in the moderate flood stage. well, we've been talking about flooding because we're starting to get some of that snow melt. we're actually dealing with warming temperatures. and i want to show you what noaa has released, and this came out yesterday. their flood risk for the next several weeks ahead. for springtime. anywhere you see in red, the
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highest risk. this is the mississippi river streaming down towards missouri, down towards louisiana, and also the missouri river, and that includes parts of the dakotas. that's the area that's going to be dealing with the hardest and the possibility of the heaviest risk for flooding as we go through the next several weeks ahead. we'll take a look at your temperatures coming up in a short while. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. we're also following our top stories minutes away. including the latest on the nuclear crisis in japan. the u.s. looking at its facilities. are we ready for any kind of catastrophic event? and a change that could affect millions of people who get their news for free online. the "new york times" now charging -- oh, is it the beginning of the end of free news ono elseould follow?
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just into cnn, all commercial air traffic has now been shut down in libya. this comes hours after the u.n. security council voted to impose a no-fly zone in libya and possible military action to stop gadhafi's brutal crackdown on his own people. well, in the middle of all of the devastation and heart ache in japan, we got a lesson in loyalty and love from two dogs. they were rescued in the tsunami. one refusing to leave his injured best friend behind. jeannie moos recounts their terrible ordeal and miraculous rescue. >> reporter: this is one of those where are they now stories amid the human suffering, a pair of tsunami-surviving dogs stood out. is the dog dead, wondered the
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fuji tv team that stumbled on this scene as the healthier dog seemed to stick by his injured buddy. moments later, proof of life. soon this video was rocketing around the web and the seemingly loyal dog became an iconic picture. >> we actually tried to go and rescue these two dogs after hearing about them. >> reporter: isabella and others packed up a van, headed for the devastated sendai area to see what they could do for pets left behind in evacuations. finding human survivors is hard enough, imagine trying to track down a pair of dogs. they went at it like detectives trying to find the building behind the dogs in the video, they ended up here. >> this is the school that we think is the elementary school that we saw in the background of the original footage of the
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dogs. >> reporter: but no dogs, and that turned out to be good news because animal rescuers believe this man, animal rights supporter and dog food importer ken sakurai got his friends to get the dogs. >> he was able to get in the area with the help of two men on motorcycles. >> reporter: that's ashley fruno, a member of peta also in sendai. on his facebook page, ken sakurai says the injured dog is in a vet clinic while the healthier one is in a nearby shelter. but those two are just the tip of the iceberg, there are more and we need help. japan earthquake animal rescue has raised over $100,000, much of it due to man's best friend acting like best friends to each other. jeannie moos, cnn, new york. >> you know, a lot of people will say why are we caring so
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much about dogs, there's such human suffering and we're not discounting that at all. but there are reports that people are actually donating more to relief efforts in japan in general because of this video and because of seeing what the dogs are going through. in the end, maybe it is helping people too. top stories right after the break. [ sneezing ] ♪ [ male announcer ] what are you gonna miss when you have an allergy attack? benadryl® is more effective than claritin® at relieving your worst symptoms and works when you need it most. benadryl®. you can't pause life.
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7:00 here in new york. we're following two huge stories this morning. first to libya. a dramatic turn in the uprising there. the united states, britain, and france mobilizing right now to enforce a no-fly zone. so what does that mean for the gadhafi regime? we have answers for you on this american morning. good morning to you. thanks for being with us, it's
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friday, march 18th. welcome to "american morning," i'm christine romans. britain, france, and the u.s. enforcing a no-fly zone over libya and to take out moammar gadhafi. halting the slaughter of the libyan people. nic robertson live in tripoli this morning. a new development, all commercial air traffic has been halted over libya. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, that means no one is going to be able to fly in or fly out of here. anyone who wants to get out of libya right now is going to have to drive over the border or take a boat hours and hours away to malta. we're hearing reports of strikes by the army against the people in misrata, about 120 miles to the east of here. we can't confirm those reports. the government doesn't allow us to go to misrata. and these are reports we're getting from opposition rebels in the city there. we do know over the past couple
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of days that the government had been readying for an offensive. if this is the case, that is already a violation of the new u.n. resolution, which calls for protection of civilians, which the deputy foreign minister here last night said the country would do, but he also indicated it would be some time before the government could actually implement a cease-fire. christine? >> what do we expect -- sorry, kiran and i are wondering what do we expect next from the west? what are they expecting there from the west? now has been authorized the no-fly zone and the u.n. resolution, what do we think is imminent for -- for gadhafi and his regime? >> reporter: well, the deputy foreign minister last night said he didn't think air strikes were going to be coming any time soon. but the reality is, the wording of the resolution means that if civilians are targeted by the heavy weaponry of the army here, the united states, britain,
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france, others in the international community can take punitive action against -- against the libyan army. we've also heard from the pentagon over the past couple of weeks saying that if you're going to have a military operation, an air operation, any sort of operation that goes into libyan air space, you're going to have to take out libyan air defenses. that remains a possibility. it's not clear here if the threshold is set so that there won't be military action until the gadhafi regime does something against civilians or whether there will begin to be some preemptive strikes against the air defense systems here in libya. certainly the opposition are going to be looking to see the international community live up to its word here. and obviously, moammar gadhafi's regime is going to be testing the will of the commercial community. they will be likely pushing the envelope. there are military gains they want to make so we can expect to see more of that, as well. >> nic robertson. thank you, nic.
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meantime, britain is holding a cabinet meeting. with details of the mission in libya and france, a government spokesperson says military strikes against gadhafi will commence "swiftly." live in paris this morning. at least from the french side, it seems they are anxious to start with whatever mission is planned in terms of enforcing this no-fly zone. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, exactly that. the french have been pushing this all along. so for them, the resolution getting through last night was an important step. and the kind of thing they've been advocating for sometime. this morning, there's been an emergency cabinet meeting, as well, just as in london. there's likely to be more meetings as the day wears on, there's an emergency meeting in brussels. and tomorrow, we're understanding, this has just evolved in the last few minutes here that there's going to be a
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meeting in paris between members of the eu, arab league, and african union to talk over the situation in libya. so there may be some more political and diplomatic steps that have to be gone through here before we actually see any bombs starting to fall. now, what it looks like this coalition is building into is something like this. we're hearing this morning that they will participate in this operation, as well as the united arab emirates. that hasn't been confirmed by the government. norway says it would participate, canada is reportedly sending six f-18s for any kind of air operation. denmark, once it gets through a parliamentary debate today may be sending some f-16s. poland says it'll help logistically, but then there's holdouts, germany and russia are saying no to any participation in any kind of military operation. >> jim bitterman in paris,
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thanks so much. with western air strikes against gadhafi's forces possible, there's concern in the white house about how long this mission in libya might take and the price it will cost. >> james reuben, now the executive editor of "the bloomberg view." good to see you this morning. so, you know, when you talk about the language saying that, you know, they've been authorized, that perhaps, you know, western strikes are imminent in libya. what are you as you read between the lines here -- what do you think is going to happen in libya this morning? >> well, i don't think anything's going to happen today. the good news is that the regime in tripoli, the gadhafi regime seems to realize that the west is finally the world really is finally prepared to act to prevent the potential slaughter in benghazi that people feared. what's unusual about this particular mission, this particular operation is that it
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doesn't have the character of an american-led nato operation that we're all familiar with, which is by and large led by the u.s. military with nato participation, run out of brussels. you're hearing as jim bitterman has mentioned and others have mentioned the participation of a number of different countries in the arab world. politically, that's good news. the more countries you have, the more international character it is. that's good. but operationally, it will be complicated having not trained together, not flown together, some of these air forces may run into difficulties. it may be a little more -- it may be harder to do something, which is relatively easy shutting down the air space. the hard part is going to be to stop libya's army if it continues to move on benghazi. the u.s. -- the u.n. have said they're not going to let that happen now. >> meaning there's not going to be any ground invasion in any way, shape, or form? >> no ground invasion, but how do you stop an army from the
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air? it's tricky, difficult, i think it's crucial that the west, the world finally stopped gadhafi. imagine if he had taken over the whole country, was full of drunk on his victory. this is someone who is, you know, ordered terrorist attacks on americans, this is someone who has tried to build nuclear weapons. we don't want to formally mad dog dictator to become a mad dog dicta dictator. that's dangerous to us. >> he holds the west back. his language this morning was he's going to send humanitarian aid into benghazi. and everything's changed from i'm going to slaughter you to now i'm going to help you. if he cannot provoke the west, then maybe he holds on to his power at this point and maybe this moment has been lost to get him out of -- >> well, i think there's two issues. one is, would he succeed, take over the country, conduct the slaughter in benghazi? it appears as if we have
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prevented that. that's good. but as you point out, now he holds the trigger. not the west. if he stops where he is, he can dictate the terms, the timing. and for those of us who lived through the period when iraq was led by saddam hussein, a similar type dictator, it was very frustrating to have the dictator ruling the timing and the -- and so this is one of the downsides of a full international operation with all the procedures and all of the wordings that give in a sense the timing, given in the hands of the dictator rather than us. >> how did we get, though, just from two short weeks ago this almost -- he was hanging by a thread, it appeared it was done for gadhafi. people were saying, where can he go? to where we are today which he seems stronger than ever. >> well, that is a really unfortunate thing. you're exactly right. just a couple weeks ago, it seemed like he was going to have
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a tough time keeping any of his forces loyal to him. i think we got there because we in the west made clear for at least a couple of weeks that we were not going to come help those opposing him. and so he had a couple thousand loyal forces, which is a lot more organized than the rebel forces. and he saw, kept moving, kept taking after town after town, no action from the west, just words, just words. and now finally at the last moment, we've acted. that's how we got here. >> we're going to talk more about this in the next hour. we're getting developments by the moment. thanks so much. an elevated safety risk at japan's fukushima nuclear plant. the country's nuclear agency has raised the severity level of this to a level five. the same as the 1979 incident at pennsylvania's three mile island. the situation growing dire for crews there working to contain the disaster. and the u.s. has collected
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aerial information saying the cooling of the overheated spent fuel pools is having little effect, meaning the water drops in the water cannons not doing the job at this point. reactor number three is still highly sensitive and the fuel pool is believed to be dangerously low. the japanese and u.s. governments have had different ways to deal with radiation fears, but now a team of specialists is headed to japan. they're going to give their best advice on manning the situation. >> chris lawrence with more on this operation and how they're trying to help. hey, chris. >> hey, kiran. hey, christine. this is a very special nine-man team. they're specialists in dealing with the consequences of radiation fallout. and basically, they've been dispatched to japan to go through some of the consequences of what could happen if there is, say, a massive leak of radiation into that area. talking to the military commanders there about what they would do about decontamination, about evacuations, about trying
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to resupply their forces in the middle of say a radiation fallout. there's some of the troops that would be authorized to go within that sort of 50-mile cocoon established in which u.s. citizens are not allowed inside of it. there are some of the military that would be allowed inside. the u.s. military has given the japanese about 100 chem bio suits. >> thank you so much. 11 minutes past the hour right now. in the wake of the disaster in japan, officials are trying to figure out how safe our nuclear plants are right here. the president has called for a review. and there are other politicians who have called for us to simply shut down some of them. are we prepared in the event of a catastrophic accident like we saw in japan? >> we'll have those answers coming up next. all the news fit to publish
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online is no longer free. the "new york times" is now charging for its website. how this affects the millions of people who get their news online.
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14 minutes past the hour right now. the situation in japan is getting more severe this morning. the data u.s. planes collected finding the fukushima plant is really in no better shape than it was two days ago or many days ago despite the ongoing efforts
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to cool both from helicopter drops and water cannons on the ground. the safety risk level has now been upgraded and thousands more have been evacuated. >> it's now simply a full-scale crisis and continues. japanese officials have defended their approach to the nuclear crisis. but president obama is calling for a full review of the reactors in the u.s. to see where we stand. we're joined now by daniel poneman in the white house. we want to get the latest about what you're hearing what's happening above the fukushima facility. we know there's radiation very close to the perimeter around this, we know there's some radiation going into the atmosphere and a plume of minuscule amounts of radiation heading to the united states. what is the very latest from the briefing room about radiation and its spread from this facility? >> well, the very latest is that we are continuing on a minute-to-minute basis to support the japanese to get the situation under control. our particular contribution is -- includes the monitoring
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devices that we sent. we're continuing to operate both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to pick up any detection of ground deposits. and we're continuing to monitor the results on that. >> there's also been questions about how forthcoming japan has been and the japanese government in terms of -- in terms of giving accurate information. are you confidence they're giving us and you the full story? >> well, first of all, i think it's important to keep this in perspective. the japanese have -- a huge task before them on getting this whole situation under control. i think their focus and the world's focus is properly on getting that job done. we certainly have been in very close communication with them throughout this crisis. every day and on an hour-to-hour basis we continue to talk to them and provide any advice we can and any support in terms of equipment and technical expertise. we've sent a number of our experts forward to talk to their experts even as we speak. >> isn't part of that -- as i
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understand what you're saying, priority number one is trying to solve this problem. isn't it just as important to keep people informed especially dealing in radiation. people coming off flights of japan, being tested for radiation in california. we've been seeing a run on potassium iodide pills sold out on the west coast. what do you say to people fearful of radiation? >> well, look, obviously it's a natural and appropriate fear. we say a number of things. as you heard clearly from the president yesterday. if you were in japan, please do stay in touch with our embassy, the consulates. if you're in the united states, stay informed. we are going to make sure that as we have any new information that's relevant, we're going to share that with the american people. that's what they have every right to expect. >> we have 144 nuclear power plants in this country, many the same age and model as this facility in fukushima. the u.s. unlike for oil spills and other natural disasters, we simply don't have a disaster
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plan to deal with what happened in fukushima if that were to happen here. in light of the bp oil spill, hurricane katrina, and the responses that were criticized there. the u.s. response is criticized there. what can you tell us about how prepared the united states is for a disaster like this? >> well, look, this is something as you well know -- safety is absolutely our paramount concern. for decades we've been improving the safety and it's not something we wait for a crisis to improve upon. we do it every day, do exercises -- >> there is a disaster plan. there is a disaster plan if something were to go wrong? >> the critical thing to remember here is that what we also have going back to 1974 is an independent regulatory authority, the nuclear regulatory commission and they have the responsibility and they take it very seriously to ensure that all kinds of contingencies are taken into account and they have the authority when they need to take any steps to protect the american people in terms of modifications to plants
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they would recommend or if they need to do, they have the authority to shut down those plants. >> the president has been supportive in the past. we're talking about $36 billion in guaranteed loans for nuclear plants, hundreds of millions in research. given the situation in japan, is the president still 100% behind nuclear energy in this country? >> well, as you heard the president say, he spoke directly to this question yesterday. he still sees nuclear power as an important part of the energy future along with renewables and wind and clean coal. we have to have a balanced portfolio as we try to modify and get our economy and our energy economy into a nudity verse mied economy, >> deputy secretary energy, best luck in your efforts to contain the situation for the sake of the japanese people and the rest of us. thank you. >> thank you. the "new york times" charging to read the website. going to happen soon. who else could follow? and is it changing the way you
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get your news online? 20 minutes past the hour. a farewell long awaited. good night, stuffy. >> ( yawning ) >> good night, outdated. >> ( click ) >> good night, old luxury and all of your wares. good night, bygones everywhere. >> ( engine revs ) >> good morning, illumination. good morning, innovation. good morning, unequaled inspiration. >> ( heartbeats ) [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans aren't getting enough whole grain. but actually, it's never been easier to get the whole grain you want from your favorite big g cereals. from cheerios to lucky charms, there's whole grain in every box. make sure to look for the white check.
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the beauty of the internet, everything on there is free. the "new york times" now charging readers for its online content. you know eventually they were going to start to go there. carmen wong-ulrich here with more. >> is it the end of an era? well, one of the last big newspaper holdouts on free online access will now charge. a new pay wall for access to online content. if your current home delivery and digital subscriber, you get free access. but for nonsubscribers, you have a limit. you can look at 20 articles or slide shows a month for free, and they keep track, trust me. after that, there are three pricing plans for $15 a month to $35 a month for access to all platforms. there are some loopholes because they love social networking. if you go to the time site directed through facebook, twitter, or blogs, you can read
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even if you're over your limit. and i write for the "times" as does my husband. and taking a quick right turn, cnn money is reporting that shopping to help japan is getting a great response. lady gaga has a $5 wristband, 100% of the proceeds go to charity. and as of monday, she tweeted over $250,000 has been raised. "american idol" is donating part of your itunes downloads. and charlie sheen, $1 of his tickets going to the relief fund. and all retailers have joined. retailers, gap and khol's are giving cash and clothing, as well. >> sandra bullock has given $1 million to the red cross to go to help tsunami survivors, as well. when this first happened, people have been saying, why hasn't there been more from hollywood or the celebrities about this crisis? there was so much attention paid
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during haiti. it seems people are starting to realize the scope of this disaster in japan. >> absolutely. a lot of help. including the japanese retailer competition to the gap giving over a couple million dollars to the relief effort and clothing. >> that's good stuff. and sometimes it says on the website we will match or find out how to, you know, find some way to make some of this money go to japan. >> it's great. >> thanks, carmen. >> thank you. more about japan's nuclear plant crisis. coming up, a simple and startling analogy that will explain what's happening inside that reactor. enforcing a no-fly zone over libya. the defense secretary warned it would essentially mean war. how far is the white house prepared to go? we're joined by our own candy crowley. 25 minutes past the hour. aerodyn destined to shape our future. the jaguar xj. automobile magazine's 2011 design of the year.
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than the bmw 7-series or mercedes s-class... making the decision to own a jaguar just as rational as it is emotional. 28 minutes past the hour. we've been talking about this heroic struggle taking place at the fukushima daiichi power plant where crews are desperately trying to prevent a meltdown by dumping huge quantities of water on a pool holding radioactive fuel rods. they're called spent fuel rods because they're no longer in use, but they can give off radioactive material if they're not covered in water. >> the nuclear physics behind
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this disaster -- but allan chernoff has simplified it with an explanation from the kitchen. >> christine, kiran, consider the danger of having a pot with no water on top of a high flame. obviously this could cause a fire in the kitchen. well, that gives us a sense of the challenge the japanese are dealing with right now at the daiichi nuclear power plant. consider those spent fuel rods, they generate tremendous heat, up to 2,100 fahrenheit. now, that's enough to melt them, burn them, and send radioactive material into the atmosphere. they have to be kept under water just like spaghetti cooking right over here. normally, those roads are actually under 30 feet of water, but the head of the nuclear commission says in at least one of the pools in japan, there's either no water or virtually no water putting us back in this situation. the pot on top of the flame. how do we resolve that? well, of course, we can add water. and this is exactly what the
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japanese are trying to do right now. they're trying to get water into that pool any way they can even by helicopter dump all to avoid a nuclear catastrophe. kiran, christine? >> and, of course, that will cause a fire in your kitchen if it were the experiment, but the problem here is the radioactivity. that's what's so dangerous about this situation. >> and the fact they haven't been able, still, to get a handle on that part of it. allan, thanks. top stories. danger rising around fukushima nuclear power plant. the country's nuclear agency has raised the severity rating to a level five. officials say that means a situation that could have "wider consequences." level five is the same as the three mile island power plant event in 1979. well, president obama trying to calm the country's rising fears about radiation, calling for increased nuclear safety, as well. here's a bit of what he said on the issue yesterday. >> i want to be very clear. we do not expect harmful levels
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of radiation to reach the united states whether it's the west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. let me repeat that. we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. >> the experts say that radiation from the fukushima nuclear power plant will dissipate over the vast ocean between the u.s. and japan. and if it was detective ed, it d be small, non-harmful amounts. the u.n. security council has authorized all necessary measures to stop the slaughter of libyan civilians. the u.s., britain, and france scrambling right now to begin the preparations to enforce a no-fly zone over the north african nation while the libyan dictator promises to show the opposition no mercy.
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rebel forces in libya have taken a beating this week. they say they now desperately need backup and need it now. but there's no official time line for the no-fly zone mission to begin and no word from the white house about the level of america's commitment. >> let's bring in the host of cnn's "state of the union," and candy crowley live from washington this morning. what can and what do we expect the west to do right now about moammar gadhafi? >> reporter: well, we've certainly been told by some western european countries that they want to do this quickly, whatever this is. we also know when secretary gates was on capitol hill being very cautious about this idea. this was pre the u.n. vote. saying let's be really clear about this because a no-fly zone begins with an attack on libya's anti-aircraft mechanism. so whatever it is that libya has, it could bring down any planes that were enforcing a
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flyover is what we would have -- what the u.n. sanctioned no-fly zone would include. if it includes an attack and this is what secretary gates said would have to come first -- attack on those air defense missiles that libya has, that's what we'll see first. i also suspect what you will see because we have heard this publicly and privately, they're not going to go this alone. you will not see what we usually -- is the standard. it's either u.s. only or u.s.-led mission or a nato mission. because what the u.s. wants to do here and what other western european countries want to do is to have arab nations involved in this to take sort of the taint off what could be seen as a western assault. because they understand that gadhafi will use that to try to rouse his own people saying, look, they're coming to get us, this is an attack on libya. but if it is from his neighbors,
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as well, and those in the arab world, then that puts a different patina on what will be a very difficult mission and one where people are starting to question, has this be too little too late? >> as you said, it may not appear the u.s. is leading this. france as we know eager as we heard from our jim bittermann in paris to get this going. we're also hearing from david cameron out of britain that they are ready to go, they're immediately moving fighter jets to bases where they can begin to help this no-fly zone. are we looking at the potential for military action happening soon? >> e yyes, i think so. that is the expectation. i'm not in charge of it, but the expectation and certainly all of the public statements we've seen and other correspondents who have been talking behind the scenes are getting the same sort of signals that it is something soon. but the u.s. has this president -- president obama has been reluctant to come to this as a u.s.-led thing.
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let's remember, the u.s. in general is not all that popular in the arab world. and so this is a very delicate time in egypt, tunisia, saudi arabia, a very complex time. and so the u.s. is interested in it not being a u.s.-led mission. so i think that's why you're seeing more eagerness on the side of other countries. >> quickly, the u.s. 104 of the nuclear power plants ordering a comprehensive review, the president did, of our nuclear power system. meanwhile, sounds like we talked to daniel poneman, they're on the ground around that area of the facility. how do you gauge the white house response to what's happening in japan? i mean, what are the insiders saying about how well they've taken the lead here or not? >> well, this has been tricky because obviously the u.s. doesn't want to tyake the lead n this either. this is a very strong,
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independent u.s. ally. so what the u.s. has tried to do is focus a lot of the attention on, here's what we want americans to do. you know, first of all, we will send japan any help that japan asks for. we stand ready to do that. there have been many conversations between u.s. officials and japanese officials and at the top between the president and the prime minister. so there have been lots of those private talks. but publicly, it has been one as we've seen -- we saw yesterday, voicing support for the people of japan saying we will send whatever you ask for and, indeed have, and taking care of the americans that are there. because, again, even with allies, it's a delicate situation. and remember, we started out this whole crisis saying, no one is better than japan, better prepared than japan at dealing with this sort of crisis. but clearly, i think, you have seen some tensions. and i think those tensions come out in the smallest of ways where you see that japan says
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let's evacuate everyone within 12 miles of the nuclear facilities. and you see the u.s. going, okay, 50. you see the u.s. not wanting to have a massive withdrawal of the u.s. personnel, but nonetheless saying, voluntary evacuations of families, state department employees or military employees. so there has been some tension, but i think publicly the u.s. has tried to let japan take the lead and still is. >> candy crowley, thanks. and "state of the union" 9:00 a.m. eastern this sunday. are we prepared for the catastrophic disaster that happened in japan? how safe are our 104 nuclear plants? we'll go straight to the source. timothy mitchell whose company owns and operates many of the plants here in the u.s. ♪
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just into cnn, extraordinary, extraordinary new pictures of the sheer force of the tsunami that hit japan one week ago. this video was shot from inside a car at the moment the tsunami came crashing ashore.
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the driver says he had no choice but to keep going. within seconds he says the car was floating on a 7-foot wave and somehow he survived. just watch this. unbelievable, kiran. floating on top of that wave. kiran? >> the fact that he was able to preserve that video is pretty amazing. and you caught the rainbow also in that shot. it is unbelievable perspective this morning. i'm glad we had a chance to see it. christine, thanks. the japanese nuclear crisis has that lot of americans wondering, how safe are our plants? president obama has asked for a review of the country's 104 nuclear reactors, 12 of which were operated by entergy corp. four of the reactors are mark one models, the same design as
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the ones in japan. timothy mitchell joins me this morning. thanks so much for coming in to talk to us. >> good morning. >> of course, just a lot of fears in general. we remember after three mile island, it was 30 years before they approved another permit for building. we have 104 of them. how safe are they? >> we believe they're very safe. entergy puts safety first. let me express my sympathy to the people in japan. but from a safety standpoint, energy always places safety first. and how we ensure that is through redundant and diverse equipment. not only that, but beyond that we also have very aggressive and very challenging regular. and many remember after the tmi accident, we also implemented self-regulation of the nuclear industry called the institute of the nuclear power operations.
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and they pursue beyond regulation, push us towards excellence, which we're always striving to achieve. >> you mention the nrc, the nuclear regulatory commission. they issued a report about one of them. indian point, which is yours. they cited some concern because it is near a fault. they put the chance of any type of earthquake happening at 1 in 10,000 but right on the verge of requiring "immediate concern regarding adequate protection of the public." are you prepared for any type of catastrophic event like the earthquake at the indian point? >> yes, let me describe why -- but first let me talk about the report a little bit. if you look at the report in detail, the overall conclusion of that report was all the u.s. reactors are safe. that seismic events. the units are currently designed to withstand any seismic event. it is -- it does list all the plants, but it was not intended to be a ranking -- and what we're doing with that report --
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we started as soon as we got the report and looked to see if there was any improvement. >> to be fair, part of the reason that indian point ranked so high is because of the proximity to such a large population center. i mean, we're talking 18 million people in a 30-mile radius, let's say, of that plant. is there, if god forbid there was some sort of horrible accident because of an earthquake, is there a plan in place to get that many people away from indian point? >> there absolutely is an evacuation plan. but what we do to make sure we don't get to the evacuation plan is we've gone beyond what our design basis is to ensure that we can protect the public. so we've staged equipment to be able to do many of the things the japanese are doing right now. we have training. we train our people, our operators get trained every five to six weeks. in addition, we have procedures built to deal with any sort of natural disaster. we try to learn from every disaster that occurs worldwide,
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whether it's related to nuclear or not to ensure that we're absolutely prepared for any contingency. >> i know that governor cuomo has been opposed to the plants of indian point. what do you say to the governor? >> i believe that -- and entergy does, that we can operate those locations safely. they provide reliable power at a low cost, and they're green. so they do not emit greenhouse emissions. so i believe in nuclear power very strongly. now, entergy would not operate units that it did not believe were safe. if we didn't feel we could protect the health and safety of the public, i wouldn't work there, my company wouldn't operate. >> i'm glad you had a chance to come talk to this morning. thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> thank you. a welcome warmth is coming as spring air arrives in the
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east. jennifer delgado with your weather forecast next. all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying. hmmm... priority mail flat rate envelopes, just $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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beautiful baltimore, maryland this morning. partly cloudy right now, 53 degrees. >> mostly sunny later today, 76 degrees in baltimore. it's going to be nice. going to be nice here, nice in the midwest. >> yeah, for a day. jennifer delgado is following this for us today. it's going to be beautiful parts in the northeast, other parts, and back to being cold again. what's going on? >> you're going to cool down in new york. as we head into saturday as well as into sunday. but for today, this will be your pick day of the week. it's friday, of course you want it to be the pick day. let's start off looking at the radar. rain moving through parts of the northeast and new england dying down. that's showing you improving conditions. but out towards the pacific northwest, that's a different
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story. notice, we have more heavy rainfall working into parts of california, as well as parts of oregon. and the rain's going to be heavy today. potentially about 4 inches of rainfall and 4 to 6 inches of snow right along the mountains. but let's go to video coming out of california. this is out of big sur and showing you mud slides. they've been dealing with this over the last several weeks. and look at the ground there just gave way right on the ocean. again, this is out of big sur and conditions are only going to get worse through the weekend. back on over to our satellite. notice that we do have a lot of sunshine to start off your day. mostly clear skies, baltimore, a live shot out there, a good-looking day, as well. and the temperatures are going to respond. we're talking -- the numbers actually going to be 10 to 15 degrees above average. even in the mid-atlantic dare i say, we could see temperatures about 20 degrees above average. however, up towards the plains, the midwest, and out towards the
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pacific northwest, temperatures cooler, running about 10 degrees below average. and your highs for today. look at the numbers, 80s out there, spring starts on sunday at 7:20. you can see the 80s spreading u york today, we're expecting a temperature high of 66. now i leave with you some video. kiran, you said yesterday i don't think you went to the st. paddy's day. 250 years yesterday and celebrating in new york city. it's one of the most popular parades. they have people from all across the country out there taking part in the big event. kiran, christine, i don't know if you celebrated yesterday or if you pinched christine, but i had my green eggs. i had my corn beef and cabbage yesterday. >> i did. dublin style fish and chips. >> it was good. then i had heartburn this morning. >> then i got a nice surprise.
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>> when we came in this morning i was seeing people who were just finishing up all of the reveling from spa st. patrick's day and partying. >> which we watched on tv. triggering nuclear fears in america because what is happening in japan. show you the technology is used in the u.s. to monitor our air. after six and a half year journey a spacecraft is now orbiting mercury. details of this extraordinary trip ahead. homeowners -- rates have been going up, but you can still refinance to a fixed rate as low as 4.75% at, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at... today.
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day after st. patrick's day dean every showed up but phil but he's italian. of course, he is going to up. if radiation from the nuclear disaster in japan ever became a threat in america, we would find out about it very quickly. >> that's because there is a monitoring system in place to detect it. more now from dan simon. >> reporter: federal authorities have repeatedly said that any radiation that might reach the west coast will not pose a threat to the public. that said, the epa is able to
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monitor the air on a 24/7 basis thanks to equipment like this. we're in downtown san francisco on top of a seven-story building. here, the epa has deployed one of its radiation monitors. eric stevenson manages the equipment on behalf of the federal agency. >> it's basically in place to ensure that if there are any changes in the background radiation levels that we know about it quickly and that we can take effective action. >> reporter: there are more than a hundred of these devices spanned out across the country. part of the radiation detection program that dates back to the 1950s when the united states did nuclear testing. traces of radiation from japan may begin showing up in the next couple of days. that is brought on anxiety on the west coast. potassiue tatassium iodide has g off the shelves. >> we have so many questions for potassium iodide including from physicians from their families
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and never had calls like this ever before. >> it had can serious side effects if not taken correctly. the epa hopes the collection of their system will ease unwarranted panic. philip is a scientist collecting the data in southern california. >> we don't know what is emitted from the reactor in japan. even if it was worst case scenario it appears by the time it crosses the pacific over four, five, six days, there's a lot of dilution and dispersion. we are told the radiation risk will be minimal or no existing. >> the epa have ordered more of these monitors from alaska to hawaii and if there is any thought of radiation, they will be able to monitor it. >> your top stories after this break.
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all right. a dramatic turn in libya's civil war. the u.n. approving all necessary measures to stop moammar gadhafi's rampage. france and britain say they are ready to move. and commercial aircraft over libya has now been suspended. we had have much more on this "american morning." good morning to you. thanks for being with us. 8:00 on this friday morning, march 18th. i'm kiran chetry. >> i'm christine romans. britain, france and the u.s. scrambling this morning to enforce a no-fly zone over libya
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and stop moammar gadhafi after the u.n. security council authors, quote, all necessary measures to prevent the slauts of civilians. >> the french are now promising swift action this morning. concern at the white house concern how long this mission in libya might take and the price it may exact. james rubin is a former assistant secretary of state and now editor of the bloomberg news. thank you for being with us. we hear strong language coming from britain and france this morning. britain saying they have planes in place but they are ready to move. i guess where does the united states fall in this in deciding whether or not that they are going to launch any attack on libya today? >> i agree. it's been fairly quiet at the white house. if the united states is about to conduct military operations in libya, air strikes against libyan forces approaching ben ghazi or air attacks against libyan planes, it's very unusual for the white house, the
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president not to begin preparing the american people for the use of military power. it's very unusual. i think what is going on here is the administration is trying to determine how large a role they need to play militarily. clearly, one thing they may -- a point they made all along was that they wanted to see international support. they wanted to see arab league involvement, they wanted to see as much involvement of other countries as possible. we have got all of that now. we've got u.n. resolution, arab league support, the british and french are now talking about conducting this operation. the hard part here is on the one hand, you want as many countries as possible participating because for political reasons, it makes it absolutely clear if it wasn't already that the united states is not intervening in another country's affairs. it's american forces and perhaps british and french nato forces are the best military in the world and we want the best
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forces conducteding this operation to minimize risk to pilots and to maximize the chance of having it succeed. so you have this tension between the desire to have other countries participate and the u.s. capabilities. i don't think they have resolved that tension yet and that is why we're not hearing so much. >> the resolution makes certain that it goes -- designed to go as far as occupation and concern about our allies not going too far. what does this do to gadhafi? what does he do now? he certainly doesn't want to go to ben ghazi and slauts his own civilians as he promised to do earlier this week. >> it was chilling to hear gadhafi saying no mercy to these people 24 hours ago. . now we are hearing talks about cease-fire and him providing humanitarian aid. it shows you what can happen through international action, how dramatic effect you can have on the situation on the ground.
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my guess is that he will not now attack ben ghazi, that he will try to play the international community, see whether he can distract it through other actions and see whether we get distracted by the other developments in the world in japan and other parts of the world and so we're in one of those situations where, to some extent, the trigger for further developments in terms of u.s. or british or french military action may be what gadhafi decides, rather than what we decide. >> you seem to think if he doesn't make a move or doesn't go in there astart attacking in benghazi we won't launch attacks? >> it doesn't appear that way. again, i don't have inside knowledge on this. it doesn't appear the nation in america is being prepared for a substantial military operation which is what gapes the secretary of defense gates said would be required here. if gadhafi moves on benghazi i think all you've been hearing
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will come together and there will be an operation in the absence of him flying his planes and helicopters in violation of the no-fly zone or attacking. i don't know where we are. i admit, it's a bit of a puzzle. >> jamie rubin, thank you for being that perspective. >> we were wondering what goes inside the state department and the white house what they do next and what they are waiting to see what gadhafi does before they move. extraordinary pictures out of japan. the sheer force of the tsunami that hit one week ago. this is shot from inside a car traveling on the road. you see the water coming crashing ashore. then the driver under water. the driver said he he had no choice and had to keep on going and within seconds he says he was actually floating on top of a seven-foot wave. again, he survived somehow. was able to get out of his car and was able to actually salvage the video that he shot. a very unique perspecte of the fury of mother nature.
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this morning new and heightened security level at the fukushima nar plant a level seven. seven being the most severe. crews desperately trying to cool the spent fuel pools on reactor number three. they have made little impact at this point in time. nissan will scan its vehicles made in japan for any signs of radiation contamination to reassure the public and gm now suspending production next week at a louisiana plant after japan's disaster made it impossible for gm to get some needed parts. the plant makes the chevy colorado and the gm canyon. gmc canyon. one oscar winning actress writing a big check to help the earthquake and snum relief. sandra bullock writing a check for $1 million and donated the same amount during a earthquake in haiti and a strong supporter of rebuilding new orleans in the
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aftermath of hurricane katrina. lady gaga is selling a wristband she designed on japan. we pray for japan in japanese and katy perry says the glow sticks you buy at her concerts will benefit the japan victims and charlie sheen is donating a dollar from each ticket sold for his nationwide tour to help. a long journey for the mercury spacecraft but the six and a half year from trip to mercury paid off last night. nasa spacecraft became the first man-made object orbit mercury. other spacecrafts including the mercury messenger have performed fly-byes before but none of them have ever owner orbited a distant plant. >> the moon will be bigger and brighter than ever. a full moon tomorrow night and
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scientists say it will be a rare super perigee moon. the biggest one in 20 years because of how close it is. the last time the moon was this close to the earth was in 1993. my 5-year-old daughter is extremely excited about this. she either loves astronomy or a way to stay up later and see the moon. >> jennifer delgado is here with more. >> when you watch it with your daughter the weather should be pretty nice for tomorrow. we are talking clear skies. right now dealing with rain and moving through the plains and in southern parts of south dakota we are dealing with a little bit of wintry mix and the snow coming to an end through parts of colorado. we are dealing with just a little bit of snow there. up towards the northeast, as well as new england, conditions are getting much better. you can see the rain really dying down quickly the last several hours.
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temperatures looking really good. 40s and 50s out there. 60s through parts of pennsylvania and washington, d.c. right now at 51 degrees. really things are going to be not so bad. however we are going to see some windy conditions this afternoon. and we're expecting some delays. you can see from boston, as well as for new york city metro airports we could see about a delay over an hour due to the wind and for philadelphia potentially up to about a 60-minute delay. the good news. the temperatures down towards the south, as well as the southeast and up towards the mid-atlantic responding nicely to a nice southerly flow. a ridge of high pressure building in but look at the numbers down there in the '80s. talking about record-breaking highs potentially today. we will talk more about the potential for spring flooding coming up in a short while. now back over to you two. >> thanks so much, jennifer. if you want your more than coffee good to the last drop, you have to pay a little more for it. maxwell house is raising its prices for the fourth time in
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the past year. everything is going up. we have watching your money. so many being done to help the thousands devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in japan. dr. sanjay gupta gives us a challenge faced by the victims and those trying to help them. i'm good about washing my face. but sometimes i wonder... what's left behind? [ female announcer ] introducing purifying facial cleanser from neutrogena® naturals. developed with dermatologists... it's clinically proven to remove 99% of dirt and toxins
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with all of the things you have to worry about as a parent with young kids you hope not to hear this. emergency crews had to be called to a d.c. elementary school this week because five students 8 to 9 took cocaine. this happened at the thomas elementary school where students between 9 and 8 and four were hospitalized as a precaution. all of them okay after being checked out by medical staff. but according to the school, a fourth grader brought the cocaine to the school and shared it with classmates and some of them snorted it and others took it orally. officials are not sure how much of the drug the kids actually ingested but the kid who brought the cocaine is now facing criminal charges. elementary school named after the president is closing its door. in asbury park, new jersey, shut its doors july first, declining enroll and students there will relocate to two other schools in the area. speaking of the president. he is trying to calm the
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country's rising radiation fears with a cloud drifting from japan many people say most experts say by the time it gets here it will than negligible but still a concern and people are afraid. the president says harmful levels of radiation are not expected in the states. there are more than a hundred radiation detection devices across the country but there has yet to be a reading that shows elevated levels. some drugstores in california, though, say they are running out of potassium iodide which people may take in emergency situations to stave off the harmful effects of this type of radiation. health experts say there is no need for it and warn against the dangerous side effects. some people returning to the u.s. from japan have already been tested and what are they finding? dr. sanjay gupta joins from us tokyo now. we know that some flights have been tested. people who have been in the region trying to just make sure if there is any radiation exposure. so far no widespread concern here.
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>> reporter: yeah. i mean, this is a change in the field protocol for the customs and border control people. they are doing radiological testing. they have some pretty sew fest indicated screening equipment. radiological testing has been done for some time on cargo and planes and mail. this is a bit of a change in the overall field protocol. but they haven't found any harmful levels, as you mentioned. and they don't expect to, so they say this is sort of out of abundance of caution. i imagine when we go home eventually we will get tested and see what kind of radiation levels you're seeing. >> nissan are testing some of their cars they are exporting. we know we have the testing abilities at all of the american ports. because we know the crisis is concentrated there in japan it
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makes it easier for their protocol to target different flights. yesterday, dallas/ft. worth, some flights that were tested. overall, what we're hearing, right, sanjay, is there is radioactivity very near to the plant but outside of that zone, everything seems okay right now, correct? >> reporter: yeah. i think that's a fair assessment. you know, they've had some pretty high spikes within the plant and, you know, we've talked about the numbers which don't mean a lot to most people, but they measure this in millisieverts and the millisieverts per hour is really the way that they measure this. when they have found is even with the spikes, even with the highest levels within the plant, they haven't approached the level of causing an impact on human health. now, obviously, there's still a lot of anxiety about this. they have this big evacuation zone around the plants but the point is correct, that, you know, if you take that level very close to the plant and then you start to move it further and further away, as it disperses,
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the numbers are going to fall down. the potent see, the activity the radiological particles and material will start to decrease. even within japan and even outside of the zone it shouldn't have an impact on health. if is there a plume it may be heading toward the arctic circle but if it crossed over into north america the level should be low to be negligible. >> what about tprime minister saying the damage at the plant appears to be, ungrave. >> reporter: he was asked a question specifically about the transparency of officials toward the people of japan. he said, look. we have been as transparent as possible and i'll say the situation remains grave. what he is eluding to is not under control yet. the idea of having to cool down the spent rods and the active
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rods has not been accomplished. they have been able to get some successes over the last 12 hours. i'd say more so than over the last week, suks in the form of getting a power line now to one of the reactors and making sure that some of the spent rod ponds. pools are getting more filled with water. you see some of the steam and condeny sayings coming off indicating there is water there but it is not under control. until they have some sort of reliable cooling system, this is going to be an ongoing issue. as you mentioned earlier, ultimately this has been upgraded to a level five, meaning this is a nuclear accident that they expect will have widespread concerns. it doesn't mean that people are going to get sick from it but it does mean the radioactive particles we have been talking about are expected not just to be localized to the plant and the immediately surrounding areas. >> sanjay gupta, thanks so much, from tokyo. up next, technology meets humanity. how google is helping people search for loved ones missing in
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japan. also saving great teachers. coming up a little later, we are speg with a controversial education advocate michelle re about our education system. will it make a difference out there? we wiped the slate clean. then we created a powerful, refined and aerodynamic design destined to shape our future. the jaguar xj. automobile magazine's 2011 design of the year.
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shelters, there are posters and lists and questions from people, have you seen my sister? i am here. please tell my parents if you find out. everyone is trying to connect somehow through posters and lists and at the shelter. fascinating use of technology to try to put people together. >> now google is making a difference trying to take all of that information and get it to one place and get it out to people. jason carroll is following this. more than 10,000 people still considered missing in japan. >> yeah. . this resource we're about to tell you about, great for people trying to find their loved ones there. it's really all about a new device that google has come up with called person finder and basically google's version of an
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online message board. anyone can post questions asking for information about a missing person in japan and that person can then, in turn, answer back. we will show you how it works. all you have to do it go to google's main page and click on resources related to the crisis in japan and scroll to find the person finder box and click on i am looking for someone or i have information about someone. >> at any point, if i hear about somebody, i can add that information to the database and then hours later or weeks later, someone who happens to be searching for that can find that information. >> the idea for google's person finder came about after another major disaster, the 2010 haiti earthquake. google wanted to help people reach each other and their engineers came up with the idea for the people searching website. tech observers say haiti talk google the importance of getting their site up quickly. >> after they developed the
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person finder for the haiti earthquake, it took 72 hours to get that live. but with this japan person finder, it took just one hour to get that done. so it really shows how they have been able to develop the process and really tweak it so that they can get this done very, very fast. >> well, google finder or person finder has gotten really powerful results. so far, google is tracking more than 318,000 records such as this one about samantha harrison and says, sam, called from afb and she is okay and kids are okay. check out this one from mark smith saying, mark, i saw your okay. this is great news. hang in there. we're all sending our best wishes to you trying to call, et cetera. let us know if you need anything. now there is one drawback to the google site. google does not verify who is posting the information and when i checked online, there were some complaints about people who were posting inaccurate updates.
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if you do receive information about a loved one or a -- what you should do is try to follow-up with a government, you know, impentity to make sure wh you're seeing on the person finder is accurate information. >> it is a start and trying to get connected. >> it is a start. you guys were mentioning before about the shelters. another interesting point to this when you go to these shelters in japan, you sign your name up. so on person finder there is also a way to access that information as well. >> they are using cell phone camera and uploading it and it is amazing. >> a start. it was used in new zealand during the earthquake there. as this sort of goes on and there is another disaster, they will improve on this as well but at least it's some resource for people out there who are desperately trying to get in touch with loved ones. >> jason carroll, interesting stuff on google helping out connecting people. thanks. stopping gadhafi, commercial flights have now been suspended over libya and air strikes
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against gadhafi could begin at any time. we are live in libya next. coffee, toilet paper and diapers getting much more expensive. not just your gas prices. what else? carmen wong ulrich is watching your money next. plus, get the best deal or we'll pay you $1,000. call lending tree at... today.
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♪ if you want your morning coffee good for the last drop get ready to pony more for it. maxwell price raising prices and carmen wongulrich has the details. watching the money come off your pocket this morning. >> goodness! it's everything. this is my love of life. kraft food raised prices on maxwell house. instant coffee up 10%. but in general overall coffee is up. ground coffee up 70 cents a
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pound and instant coffee up around 6 cents and ounce. why is this? some culprit several bad south american crops and high demand. and transport. the gas prices. rising cotton prices attributed to crop trouble, too. rising energy costs are busting our behind for it. the cost of diapers going up 3% and toilet paper lines are going to go up 7%. at least we have a warning here so stockpile up now! you have to overall watch your grocery budgets. corn is up for the year. 52%! sugar up 60% and beef 7% and dairy and eggs are up as well. you got to be real savvy grocery shopper these days. >> try to buy in bulk, if you can. the humongous coffee cans. >> i don't want old coffee. that's the one thingship i'll pay a little. >> it's tough but we have to get
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started on the potty-training. >> my 4-year-old is done! >> 50 cents a pull-up starts to kill you! >> it's a lot. >> carmen, thanks. danger rising around japan's fukushima nuclear plant. the country's nuclear agency has now raised the severity rating to a level 5. officials say that means a situation that could have, quote, wider consequences. level five is the same as the three mile island nuclear power plant event in 1979. the president is trying to calm the country's rising radiation fears calling for increased nuclear safety as well. he spoke about it yesterday at the oval office. here's a listen. >> i want to be very clear. we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the united states, whether it's the west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. let me repeat that. we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west
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coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. >> health experts say the radiation from the fukushima nuclear plant will dissipate over the vast ocean between the u.s. and japan. if it is even detected at all, it would be in small nonharmful amounts. the world is mobilizing this morning to stop moammar gadhafi. the u.n. security council has authorized all necessary measures to stop the slaughter of libyan civilians. the u.s., britain and france scrambling right now to enforce a no-fly zone over this north african nature while the dictator promises to show the opposition no mercy. commercial air traffic is shut down over libya. mow a ma gadhafi's son ising in is they are not afraid of any attack. >> he says the u.s. decision to enforce a no-fly zone may
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destroy his country, not save it. nic robertson is live in tripoli this morning. what is the latest on the ground there about the u.n. resolution and what gadhafi's response may be? >> reporter: well, we have been told and we have heard that the family is all together, that they are -- the sons and the father are all together, that they united in this. i'm also told -- this may worry some people -- that there is, quote/unquote, a lot of denial going on there. they really didn't expect this -- the u.n. resolution to get passed. we are waiting right now for the foreign minister here to give a press conference. it's not clear what he'll say. last night, the deputy foreign minister said that the country would move towards a cease-fire as demanded by the united states but said it might take some time. he also said he didn't think air strikes would come soon but wouldn't say what the country was doing to prepare for them. hopefully, we might learn a little bit more just shortly. >> what have they said about
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benghazi the area, jamie rubin, told us the international community was trying to prevent, a slaughter on benghazi. what about gadhafi's intentions toward that rebel stronghold? >> reporter: right now, he has strong forces position inside a city around the city about a hundred miles away at ajdabiaya. is he taking military control there before pushing forces towards ben $gassy? difficult to imagine how he does that with the u.n. sanctions but does he still intend to do that? is that why we are hearing the cease-fire may take some time to put into place? what we did hear from one of his sons lasted night that gadhafi said he would change his tactics around benghazi and arm around the city, that they won't go into the city and government only send in police and special forces but what gadhafi said on television a couple of hours earlier was that the rebels
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should put down their weapons. if they put down their weapons they would be treated properly and wouldn't be prosecuted and said if they don't put down their weapons, that's it. essentially, the government would fight them to the last man. that equation now seems to have changed. but we haven't heard the new game plan, if you will, from the libyan leader. maybe that's something we will get from the foreign minister now. >> nic robertson in tripoli, thanks. the u.s. senate approved a short-term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. the measure keep the federal government running three more weeks. lawmakers say this will be the last temporary fix. we have heard that before, haven't we? >> yes, we have. >> endless temporary fixes to this problem. congress must agree to a spending package to run through the end of september. >> still very far apart on the agreement there. obamas headed to a five-day trip to latin america and stopping in brazil tonight before heading to chili and el
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salvador. president obama meeting with leaders in each of the countries to discuss trade and the global economy. michelle and the girls will be coming, too. they will be enjoying their break. kids are off from school for their spring break so they will have a very unique opportunity to visit an exciting part of the world. >> strategic visit because china has made huge inroads in our neighbor and many people say washington needs to have a bigger and more important focus on our very own backyard. education now. outspoken and controversial education advocate who has closed schools and fired teachers. up next how michelle re thinks we should save our schools. [ male announcer ] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front. adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you.
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♪ good morning central park. a nice day there in new york city for a run around the reservoir if you're not hard at work or in school. talk about a sobering wake-up for america's education system. in a recent standardized education test, 15-year-olds in the united states lagged far behind students in comparison of 34 countries. finishing 14th in reading and
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17th in science and 25th in mj. math. the mcgraw-hill research foundation decided to come up with ideas to get us back on top. joining us from sacramento, california, this morning to break down the recommendations is michelle rhee. welcome to the program. the top recommendation here was that we have got to be valuing and putting more emphasis on the teacher in the classroom. what did you find? why is that such a pivotal key to this and what should we do? >> well, this is something that every parent knows, that how happy your child is going to school every morning as a direct correlation to the quality of the teacher that they have in the classroom. the research bears this out. the research says that the difference between having a highly effective teacher in the classroom and having an ineffective teacher in the classroom, you know, means everything for kids. that is why we really have to focus on making sure that we are
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putting in place structures that recognize and reward the best teachers that we have and that for the ineffective ones we are either quickly, you know, developing them or moving them out of the profession. >> you talk about raising the status of the profession. in finland, 1 in 10 exactly is qualified for entering the profession. how do we raise the status of this profession? >> well, i think we have to, first, you know, put in place practices that ensure that we are going to attract and retain the best people in it and when we have a lock-step pay schedule that says it doesn't matter if you are doing great things for kids, or your kids are actually moving backwards we pay you the exact same amount of money depending on how many years of experience you have, that is not the kind of culture that attracts a high achiever. when we have a profession that says we don't care how great you are, if you are the last person
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to be hired into this system you're going to be the first one fired in a layoff. that does not, overall, create the kind of culture that high achieving people want to go into. we have to start by changing the culture of the profession. >> you're going to have trouble with unions on this because unions are worried about administrators just getting rid of teachers willy-nilly for budget reasons. they worry about the fact if you take away tenure or some of the protections that they give to teachers that somehow that is going to make it a less attractive profession and won't elevate the profession. how do you respond to some of that? that is the union conventional wisdom. how do you respond to that? >> i respond to that by saying that, you know, i don't think that what the union leadership is saying actually represents what most rank and file teachers that i talk to who are really effected say. the ones i'm talking to are saying, we're okay with accountability. we want to take responsibility over what is happening in the classroom. there is not a group of people who des like ineffective
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teachers more than effective teachers. it drives effective teachers crazy when they are working hard every day. they are knocking it out for kids and they have got someone in the classroom next to them who is not doing those things because it makes their job harder. >> what we need to do is evaluate teacher, have an evaluation process is better for teachers so we know how to value the effect of teachers and how to train and maybe develop teachers who are less effective in the classroom. also how to use our money better. this report points out the u.s. and luxembourg spend the most per student and in the middle of the pack when it comes to rankings. we spend twice as much per student today than in the 1970s yet haven't moved anywhere in terms of rankings so how do we use our money better? >> well, we have to look on what our return on investment is and we have to stop spending billions of dollars on things that aren't working for kids. for example, in this country, we spend billions of dollars a year on paying for the masters degrees for teachers when, in fact, the research is very clear
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that there is no correlation between having a master's degree and having better outcomes for kids. now we are in the tough budget times and budgets are being slashed all over the country we have to say to sour elves does that investment of dollars make sense or should we put them in the classroom in a different way that impacts kids' outcomes. >> we look at the international lists. we are all obsessed with the international lists. the u.s. has its own challenges and we should -- in this country, we should be concerned about the gap between the good districts and the not so good districts and not be so concerned about the rest of the world. that being said, talented teachers in the top performing countries are funneling toward the worst performing schools. do we need to think about getting our best teachers in the worst performing schools? >> first of all, christine, i do think we have to think about our international competition much more than the domestic competition, because when our kids grow up, when a kid in sacramento grows up, they are not going be competing for jobs
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against kids in memphis or in philadelphia. they are going to be competing for jobs against kids in india and china. so we absolutely have to be thinking about the international comparisons a hundred percent. so i really do think that we have got to focus, right now, on, you know, how do we make our kids xet ist. >> michelle rhee, thank you for joining us. nice to see you. thanks so much. >> thanks. we are following new news coming from from libya. we're getting word that libya has decided on, quote, an immediate cease-fire. this, according to libyan's foreign minister. of course, it comes on the heels of the u.n. security council agreeing to a no-fly zone over libya which essentially allows the international community to take all necessary measures to protect civilians from gadhafi's brutal crackdown. libya deciding to halt all military operations in order, at
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least according to their foreign minister, to protect civilians. all of this coming on the heels of the no-fly zone, plus some very public pronouncements both from france and britain that it is prepared that planes are, you know, at the ready and they are prepared to strike, if need be, to protect the civilians of libya. again, this news just breaking right now. the word is coming from the foreign minister. we are going to take a break. no] there's just something about werther's caramel that makes a chocolate so smooth and creamy, you don't just taste it, you feel it. ♪ do you believe in magic? ♪ ♪ it's magic ♪ [ male announcer ] it's a comfort that comes from the only caramel worthy of being wrapped in gold. ♪ do you believe in magic? [ male announcer ] werther's original caramel chocolate. what comfort tastes like.
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♪ rhode island taking a look at atlanta this morning. atlanta is going to be sunny, at least right now it's sunny and 50 later and going up to a high of 80. one of the many cities enjoying a reprieve from some of the yucky weather. >> is this what it is, jennifer delgado? >> it's all about beautiful weather and hard to believe i'm still in the studio. when you saw the live shot outside, it is going to be a beautiful afternoon. now, i want to point out to you looking at the radar, things have really died down towards the northeast. we are going to see the clouds giving way to a good amount of sunshine for areas including the plains and notice for colorado still dealing with some clouds as well as some rain. but really that's going to be coming to an end and the weather is going to be improving. however, i want to point out to you we do still have flood warnings and watches in place from the northern plains to part
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of the midwest because we have seen the temperatures warm up and dealing with rain the last several days. that is leading to snow melt. i want to go to this graphic here and give you an idea what potentially we can expect as we go through the next several weeks for the spring season. this is coming to you from nooaa. this is where we see the high risk for potential flooding along those rivers. you can see that includes parts of the missouri river and mississippi river and the area in red we are talking about eastern pennsylvania, southeastern new york, as well as new jersey. this is going to be the -- really the problem area predicted but it looks like potentially 50% of the u.s. could be dealing with some type of flooding this year. today high temperatures spectacular and talking about the 80s. down towards the south and the mid-atlantic. back over to you. >> thanks. we are following breaking news out of libya right now at 10 minutes till the top of the hour. libya's foreign minister declaring now an immediate cease-fire. we have our senior international correspondent nick rob robertsoe
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in tripoli. what exactly does this cease-fire mean? >> reporter: well, it means that the government seems to be recognizing and responding to the u.n. security council resolution. the foreign minister said that the country does accept the terms of the resolution because it is a -- to the u.n. and abide by the new resolution 1973. an immediate cease-fire is what the foreign minister said. that seems to be an advancement on what the deputy foreign minister said last night. the foreign minister says all military operations will cease and talked about protecting civilians. he said the government would protect civilians, would provide
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humanitarian aid and would respect their human rights but he did go on to criticize the international community and said the resolution and the country thinks the resolution that uses the threat of force against libya, which is something he said he sees the signs of preparation for that use of force against libya, he said that is wrong. of course, what actually happens on the ground is going to be another matter when the deputy foreign minister talked last night, he said he couldn't answer for what the army is doing. so although we have heard from the foreign minister here, i think a lot of people are going to want to know what actually happens on the ground and that is something we don't have access to at the moment. >> the question is does the foreign minister speak for gadhafi and is all of this in some ways just buying a little bit of time knowing that france and britain said they have planes in place and they could launch attacks. is this just a mere ruse or at least attempt to buy some time?
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>> reporter: certainly seasoned observers of the gadhafi regime will certainly look at this and it will come to mind immediately that this could just be the government buying time, that it's basically throwing its hands up in the air and saying we will do as you say, we will treat the people right and there is plenty evidence they haven't been doing that even though said they would. even reports coming in from one town in misrata saying the army is preparing a big military operation there. we can't confirm that. it was very interesting and i think perhaps very telling there was a senior government official on hand, a very senior government official on hand at the end of that press conference and he quite literally told the foreign minister that's it, you've said what you're going to say, you're not taking any questions, that's the end of the press conference. i think that was very telling. it was a we're not going to get any additional detail on that
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right now from senior officials here. kiran? >> nic robertson, thank you. let's bring james rubin back, a former secretary of state and editor now of the bloomberg news. we have been talking to you, jamie, this morning, about what is the next move for gadhafi and now we know he is saying there will be an immediate cease-fire. he says libya takes great interests in protecting civilians. of course, there is a u.n. resolution because the rest of the world doesn't think he takes great interest in protecting civilians. what do you make of this move by libya now? >> earlier this morning, we were talking about how the momentum has now shifted and now, in many ways, the gadhafi regime holds certain cards because they can dictate the timing of events and sure enough, an hour later, the gadhafi regime is trying to put a screeching halt to international preparations to use military force against the
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libyan forces and calling for an immediate and full cease-fire. they are meeting the partial terms of the resolution. since the international system does have a strong hold here, i would expect in europe and elsewhere, there will now be a slowdown to use military force. the good news is the people of benghazi have probably been saved as a result of this resolution because just 24 hours ago, they were facing a massive assault and gadhafi was saying he would give them no mercy. now we're in a situation where we're going to have to have verification and some mechanism is going to have to be found to see whether there is a cease-fire, whether civilians are protected. we're into the kind of dynamic that many of your viewers may be familiar with from the years of the iraq conflict where a dictator is able to dictate the
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timing of events with the international community by making statements and probably doing most of the things he promises but not all of them and it's going to be very tricky, the international diplomacy here. >> what is a weakened opposition to gadhafi? if he doesn't advance or annihilate benghazi at this point in time, does this allow the rebel commanders to redo their efforts or a long drawn-out wait for gadhafi to be removed from power redouble his efforts to retake complete control of his country? >> i do think the rebels in benghazi it gives them time to muster international assistance in the form of nonmilitary aid and in the form of perhaps military aid as well. there will be questions as to whether the arms embargo applied by a previous u.n. resolution apply to them. so all of these things are going to emerge over the coming days.
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but disaster was averted. i think we should be clear on that. and i think that enormous amount of credit goes to the european countries like britain and france who are often criticized here in america for taking the lead here and getting this resolution passed and showing the willingness to use force and they have put a stop to the defensive that could have been a disaster for benghazi. >> i want to ask you this as well. uncanny six degrees of separation. jamie rubin is married to christiane amanpour, a former colleague of ours. he says he will be releasing the four "the new york times" journalists. we have talked a lot about this story. they have been missing since tuesday. apparently captured by forces there. saif gadhafi saying he will release them on friday with this interview with christiane
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amanpour. it sounds like the second move toward trying to appease the u.s. a little bit in terms of what is going on. this runs very counter to the harsh language we heard from gadhafi just two days ago. >> exactly right. the son and the father were talking about how they were coming to benghazi and no mercy would be shown and people, if they leave the city, would face the justice -- the region which meant possible death of thousands of people. now the diplomatic faith is being put forward, the cease-fire and release of journalists. look. for the journalists, i think it's very good that the international attention was paid and the libyan regime found them. they were probably in hands of some of gadhafi's forces and they figured out who they were and now we can appear to be putting on their best face. so i think we are going to see a mix of these things in the coming days and it's going to be very murky. but, again, i can't say enough
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based on where we were heading 24 hours ago this is good news. >> jamie rubin, thank you so much. great to talk to you. according to "the new york times" their four journalists will be released today. we will take a break. ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way ♪ do, do, do, do and having a partner like northern trust -- one of the nation's largest wealth managers -- . makes all the difference. our goals-based investment strategies are tailored to your needs and overseen by experts who seek to maximize opportunities while minimizing risk. after all, you don't climb a mountain just to sit at the top. you lookround for other mountains to climb. ♪ expertise matters. find it at northern trust. ♪ thbe pt delicious gourmet gravy. and she agrees.
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